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Final Assembly vote on the new state budget delayed; Democrats add amendments

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New Richmond, 54017
New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

State Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan says Democrats have the 50 votes they need to pass their version of the new state budget.

But he delayed the Assembly's debate until this morning, so Republicans could review all the changes the majority made in four days of closed-door caucuses.

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Democrats worked until eight last night to approve their final amendments.

Among other things, they would reduce the number of students allowed in Milwaukee's private school voucher program to 19,500 - about 3,000 fewer than the last compromise on the issue in 2006.

They also restored the state's share of funding for a new bridge over the St. Croix River on the border at Stillwater, Minn.

And Democrats also decided not to eliminate state grants to create renewable energy projects.

Republicans remain opposed to the budget mainly because of its numerous tax-and-fee increases.

Minority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald says he does not believe any of his 46 members will vote in favor of the package.

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